Dialogue

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(A). Chan: Human Consciousness
(B). Chan, Meditation, and Mysticism
(C). Chan Practice and Faith - I
(D). Chan Practice and Faith - II
(E). Open up to Nature



Chan: Human Consciousness
Normally, the Chan tradition does not use the term “consciousness,” instead, using “mind.” The Buddha-mind they speak of refers to the true mind of wisdom, while the mind of ordinary sentient beings refers to the false mind of vexations. The purpose of Chan is to illuminate the mind and see “the nature.” What mind does one illuminate? What nature does one see? One illuminates the true mind, and sees Buddha-nature More...

Chan,Meditation,and Mysticism
Some people think Chan and meditation are one and the same— that Chan is meditation and meditation is Chan. This is not the case. Chan is actually the stage at which one has progressed through the various levels of meditation experience, but has transcended these stages. If one only practices meditation and does not transcend the meditation state, one can at most attain a mind that is unified and unmoving. This is called samadhi. More...


Chan Practice and Faith - I
People interested in Chan practice often find it difficult to have religious faith. As faith is intrinsically emotional, and Chan practitioners emphasize personal cultivation to gain physical and mental benefits or the experience of Chan, they find it hard to accept religious faith. This is actually a great mistake.

Many people think that Chan practice depends solely on their own efforts, requiring self-reliance, while those who practice by reciting the Buddha’s name depend solely on external help. Both of these views are incorrect. In reality, Chan practice also requires external help, and the practice of reciting the Buddha’s name also requires one’s own effort. One can hardly become an accomplished Chan practitioner through one’s own efforts. More...

Chan Practice and Faith - II
One time, while someone was prostrating to me, they were pulled up by a lay practitioner who said to them, “Do not prostrate! Do not harm the master!” I, to whom the followers made prostrations, was being harmed? I was puzzled, so I asked, “What do you mean? How is he harming me? More...

Open up to Nature
Within the confines of your own home you may feel you are the master, but if many others live there, the sense of being in your own space begins to diminish. When you go into the country, the expanse of sky and the earth form one big universal house and you can feel very small. At the same time, in that great open space you would feel that all nature is yours, and even with other people there, you still feel a sense of spaciousness. Therefore, after a period of staying indoors, people should go outside and experience, on the one hand, the smallness of themselves, and on the other, the largeness of themselves. In reality, our sense of largeness or smallness is entirely relative to how we see our surroundings. More...



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